Sardis City Board

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sardis mayor ‘ain’t leaving’ despite cuts

By Rupert Howell

Several supporters of Sardis Mayor Rusty Dye were on hand Monday when that city’s board of mayor and aldermen revealed a $1,565,175 budget and later during the regular meeting adopted a millage rate of 35.3, the same as last fiscal year, to raise revenue to fund that budget.

Dye’s supporters were critical of cuts to his salary and health insurance at a previous budget meeting where aldermen agreed to cut Dye’s $21,600 salary and health insurance. Three members of that board also voted to censure Dye during a later meeting as a reprimand for alleged misconduct.

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When one in the Tuesday’s meeting stated, “I don’t think your (the mayor’s) salary needs to be cut—I think it’s sad that they’re cutting you like they’re doing,” Dye responded, “They may be trying to run me off but I got about 19 months left (in current term). I ain’t leaving.”

The majority of those attending were pro-Dye and included his mother and stepfather, Bill Harrison who was outspoken for Dye and his service to Sardis as mayor.

Dye explained that he received the salary of the former mayor and when asked if he had received a raise since becoming mayor he replied, “Hell, naw.”

Four of five aldermen were present at Tuesday’s meet and when asked during the hearing if they would take a salary cut Alderman Jojo Still was the only one to respond stating, “I would be willing to take a salary cut.”

Asked if he would take a two-thirds cut in his salary Still responded, “I don’t know about that.”

Aldermen currently make $7,200 a year, a salary that Dye stated was about $50 an hour for the amount of time they worked.

Dye also addressed some of the accusations against him when the board previously voted to censure him.

“My hands have never been in the cash drawer. I don’t have to steal to make a living,” Dye stated noting that every expenditure is approved by the board of aldermen.

During the public hearing several questions were asked about specific budget items which were answered by either the mayor, aldermen or City Clerk Mary McDowell who had been working on the budget for several months according to Dye.

The budget can be officially adopted a week after the public hearing.

Along with Dye and Alderman Still, Aldermen Roy Scallorn, Clarence Jones and Lula Walker attended Tuesday’s hearing. Rivers McArthur was not present for the hearing.